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Open Space, Green Space, and Green Infrastructure.

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Presentation on theme: "Open Space, Green Space, and Green Infrastructure."— Presentation transcript:

1 Open Space, Green Space, and Green Infrastructure

2   These dates for this week are incorrect on the outline. They should be February 17 and 19 th. Remember to reference image sources in projects.  Any questions about the self-guided field trip?  The first article, by Ken Tamminga, focuses on the challenge of restoring ecological health, diversity, and integrity in an urbanizing region. The author starts with some definitions: “ Ecological health is a capacity of the land (and all its organisms) for self-renewal. Ecological integrity is the capacity of an area to support and maintain assemblages of organisms that have a composition and functional organization comparable to that of the region’s natural habitat.” Housekeeping Items

3   Tamminga seems to argue that, in the past, planners and other decision-makers have assumed that urbanization necessitated a policy of ecological nihilism – the eradication of ecological function in undeveloped areas (what developers have cavalierly referred to as “raw land,” much as a painter might see a plain canvas as a ‘blank slate’ to be worked up). This can be witnessed in Nanaimo to the present day.  He also notes that remnant natural areas are usually too small to maintain ecological processes and biodiversity. Urban Ecology

4   Tamminga seems to argue that, in the past, planners and other decision-makers have assumed that urbanization necessitated a policy of ecological nihilism – the eradication of ecological function in undeveloped areas (what developers have cavalierly referred to as “raw land,” much as a painter might see a plain canvas as a ‘blank slate’ to be worked up). This can be witnessed in Nanaimo to the present day.  He also notes that remnant natural areas are usually too small to maintain ecological processes and biodiversity. Urban Ecology

5   Impacts of society on nature in an urban context:  Removal of vegetation (especially forests)  Removal of topsoil and compaction thereof  Filling in of wetlands (which, together with forests, etc., removes and/or fragments valuable habitat)  Elimination of riparian areas, thus compromising wildlife movement corridors and fish habitat  Introduction of exotic species  Channeling and/or culverting of streams  Reduction in infiltration capacity of the soil, leading to a diminution of groundwater resources, and more… Urban Ecology

6   Forests, which have an immense practical value in an urban context, can be largely maintained, rather than clear- cut to be replaced with lollipop trees.  Soil can be stockpiled and then returned to construction sites.  Wetlands can be retained and turned into an amenity feature, and stormwater retention and purification systems.  Setbacks can be rigorously enforced in riparian areas.  Exotic species can be removed.  Streams can be kept on the surface or daylighted.  Infiltration capacity of surfaces can be maintained. Urban Ecology

7  Conservation Subdivisions and Urban Forests In a conservation subdivision, there are supposed to be an equal number of homes as in a standard subdivision, but on smaller lots.

8  Soil Retention and Wetland Conservation

9  Riparian Setbacks and Corridors

10  Eradication of Exotics

11  Daylighted Streams Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul, South Korea

12  Maintaining or Adding Infiltration Capacity

13   See p. 245 for Tamminga’s distinction between anthropocentric and biocentric values. Where do you find yourself on this spectrum?  Some barriers to taking more of an ecosystem approach include:  The sanctity of private property  The “silos” in which decision-makers find themselves  The lack of support for more proactive planning by the public and/or an ambivalence towards have more natural elements woven into the urban fabric.  Others? Urban Ecology

14   Tamminga suggests a specific model involving relatively robust ecological cores and corridors linking these that allow migration from one to another, and the repopulation of areas low in species diversity or in need of mates of reproduction. Urban Ecology The corridors can also serve as alternative transportation greenways. The idea is not new but goes back to Frederick Law Olmsted, the creator of New York’s Central Park. At least in the 1990s, Markham, Ontario was one community committed to applying a variation of this model.

15   One example of an “urban wilderness” park is Rouge River Park in northeast Toronto. It is over 40 square km in size and stretches from the Oak Ridges Moraine 50 km north of Toronto to the wetland estuary at the mouth of the Rouge River. Urban Ecology

16   The park is home to 17 federally endangered species, more than 225 birds, 25 reptiles, and 30 mammal species. In addition, there are 800 flora, a quarter of all those to be found in Ontario.  The park also incorporates cultural heritage – evidence of past settlement. Urban Ecology

17   Tamminga makes reference to the “watershed approach” as a unifying concept for ecological planning.  Experts have noted that once 10% of a watershed loses its permeability, its health is compromised. The Watershed Approach

18   Fern Heitkamp’s article focuses on stewardship. She talks about the region of the Fraser River from Vancouver to Hope, and how much of the habitat for salmon has been destroyed in the last century-plus (see her description of the changes on p 251).  She offers a definition from Fisheries and Oceans Canada that “Stewardship refers to co-operative forms of planning and management of environmental resources in which all users and managers share the responsibility for management and conservation… [see the rest]” Stewardship content/uploads/2011/03/ReallyBigMap.jpg

19   Not only has habitat been lost but, in cities like Richmond, which had vast quantities of high quality of farmland – itself a product of diking and removal of wetlands – large quantities of agricultural land have been lost:  Hietkamp’s five stewardship lessons are that 1) It involves a commitment to cooperation and partnership; 2) It is essential for the health of humans and fish; 3)It in involves comprehensive planning for human settlements; 4) Community groups and non-government organizations (NGOs) are essential to realizing its goals, and 5) Stewardship requires strategic planning. Stewardship


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